Young Sheldon (S03E14) “A Slump, a Cross and Roadside Gravel”

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Young Sheldon Poster (Photo from: IMDB)

Ah, Young Sheldon hits the small screens again. Our weekly dose of cuteness, laughs, and a little bit of quirkiness. Since this is the first post about Young Sheldon, let’s just make some few things clear about the show:

  • This show was made for The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) fans, as it follows Sheldon Cooper, the titular character’s perilous childhood as a ‘special’ kid. That means since TBBT is over, this one’s gonna make us nostalgic every now and then, and its viewers might be a little biased about it (I know I am).
  • Young Sheldon does not really have a main ‘storyline’ (or a clear one), well not completely, but that just means you cannot predict what will happen or what the next week’s episode will be about. It mainly follows the Coopers’ (Sheldon’s family) daily lives as he quickly rises up the ranks from being meemaw’s sweet little boy to a half-fledged (Sheldon Cooper does not like made-up words, FYI) college students.
  • The main characters of the show are George Cooper- Sheldon’s dad, Mary Cooper- his mom, Georgie, Missy, his brother and sister, and Connie, his grandmother/meemaw.
  • Since the show is already in Season 3, there’s gonna be a lot of references and recurring characters and storylines from the previous seasons. Season 2’s ending is about Dr. John Sturgis (Sheldon’s college professor and Sheldon’s grandmother’s boyfriend) having another ‘episode’ (heartbroken as the Nobel Prize awarding is happening and he’s not there to be awarded), and him going to the psychiatric hospital.
  • One of my favorite quotes, albeit heartbreaking, from Season 2 is from Dr. John Sturgis just before he’s admitted in the hospital:

“It was my dream to win the Nobel prize. And i’m not going to. I bet Sheldon will.”

And lastly, as this is a recap/review, Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
With all of that in mind, let’s review Episode 14 of Season 3.

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The Cooper’s Family Time. (Photo from: IMDB)
Two birds in one gravel

As do most of the episodes of young sheldon, the title says most of what’s going to happen in the episode. At the very first scene, Georgie reads a newsletter on “how to get rich quick”. He brought it up to his dad and Sheldon happens to overhear his brother while he’s watching TV. Sheldon told his brother and father the feasibility of one of this ‘projects’, namely the extraction of platinum from roadside gravels. It is also worth noting that Sheldon laughed for the first time in 3 seasons to his father’s joke, which involves his brother not using his brain.

Georgie: “See? This thing’s a gold mine.”
Sheldon: “It would be more apt to call it a platinum mine.”

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A little bit of brotherly love. (Photo from: IMDB)

Later on, Georgie approached Sheldon while he’s playing Oregon Trail (one of the earliest educational computer games, it is also on the harder side on the difficulty spectrum of games) to convince his younger brother to help him collect gravels and mine them for platinum deposits. Georgie, being the good salesman he is, convinces Sheldon that it’s like hitting two birds with one stone (in this case, a gravel), as he can do a science experiment while Georgie gets to make a lot of money.

They proceeded on to collect the gravels and bring them home to filter them. Sheldon asks Georgie why money is so important to him and he told his younger brother one of his mantras: “You’ve got to fight for your right to party.”, while Sheldon told him his, which is from one of his idolized physicists Richard Feynmann: “I simply enjoy the pleasure of finding things out.”, that was after the exchange, wherein (which is admittedly, not one of Sheldon’s smarter moments) Georgie asks him on what’s next after he figures out how the universe works, and Sheldon answers whimsically “I’m not sure, but in the meantime, I agree with Richard Feynmann”. Like the world would not change significantly if Sheldon figures out exactly how it works. Boys, huh? On a side note, one of the ongoing themes on this is show is that his brother is not very smart, and Sheldon is not very social.

The platinum mining duo hit a roadblock when their dad don’t allow them to build a 2000-degree oven (duh!) on their home until Sheldon got the idea of using their school’s pottery kiln. The duo sneaked the filtered gravel onto the kiln but left some rubber in the mixture that led them to almost burning the school down.

Missy don’t miss

On the other side of Sheldon Cooper, his twin sister Missy Cooper, who took all of his social skills right from the very start (when they’re sharing their mother’s belly) is having problems with her batting, as evident by her four consecutive strikeouts. Connie tried to give Missy advice on how to break her slump by referring to her gambling, Mary didn’t let her. The timing of Young Sheldon’s punchlines really gets me:

Mary: “George, you give her (Missy) advice.”
Connie: “Oh, smart. Man’s been in a slump his whole life.”

When no one gets through to Missy, Mary advised that praying would help. She tried it out in batting practice and hit it over the right fielder, which is the next best thing to a homerun. With her continued success on batting, she’s eventually promoted to clean-up (baseball facts incoming), which is a position in baseball that usually goes to their best hitter. They’re usually the 4th hitter on the batting order and the team relies on them to score as they are the ones who cleans up the bases, assuming that there’s runners on the field, hence the name clean-up.

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Ready to hit the pitch (or the pitcher).  (Photo from: IMDB)

Missy got her lucky cross taken back by her mom days before the big game starts as she is scolded for misunderstanding God as someone who grants wishes. Mary and George got into an argument. He wants Mary to give the cross back before her game on Saturday and Mary thinks she’s not ready for it, and by it meaning being fully devoted to God. George stole the cross and brought it to the baseball game. Missy said she didn’t want it. As soon as Missy gets a strike she asked for the cross (lol) and with that, the episode ends.

Final Verdict:

Overall, it is a solid episode. If there’s one thing Young Sheldon and TBBT has in common that is not its titular character, it’s that they always get the timings of their punchlines right. We also saw the continuous growth of Georgie as a salesman and how he got to be so successful in TBBT. The moral lessons are still there, as the showrunners are also catering to the young audience. Personally, I don’t mind it, sometimes it also makes you think about certain aspects in life. If there’s one thing I missed in this episode, it’s that Dr. Sturgis did not make an appearance, but it’s understandable, given his relationship with Connie. I’d give them a pass for that, and for the writers’ decision to break off the two old couple in general, as it is understandable and perfectly reasonable.

Now, for our weekly Sheldon Cooper’s Uber-Fun Fact (SCUFF):

Sheldon wears different costumes in the opening, as opposed to him wearing the same plaid shirts in the previous seasons.